A new beginning for the Central African Republic? Răspunde

From the Agencies: AP's Ben Curtis in Central African Republic

After 54 years of independence, 5 coups d’etat, and one of the longest and most profound conflicts in the region, the Central African Republic seems to be facing for the first time an opportunity for improvement in political terms. However, enthusiasm should be kept within moderate boundaries, as the CAR carries the burden of a history of violent political confrontations, which have not yet been put an end to.

In order to better understand the reasons behind such skepticism, let us go back to a moment which marked the beginning of a period of the bloodiest civil conflicts in the CAR, namely the early 2000’s. In 2003, general François Bozizé overthrew president Ange-Félix Patassé in a coup, after a failed attempt in 2001. Later in 2005, Bozizé won the elections in the second ballot. In spite of this, he failed to acknowledge the mistakes of his predecessors and continued the tradition of governing in self- interest, in detriment of the consolidation of his own political support. More importantly, the disregard for the regions of the CAR controlled by his political enemies only enlarged the gap between Bozizé and those who opposed him, thus giving birth to rebellious movements. Two main strands of rebellion were created, one based in the northeast, close to the border with Sudan and Chad, and one based in the northwest in areas close to Chad and Cameroon. The former consists of an alliance led by Michel Djotodia, who would become a key political figure in the crisis of 2012-2013. The tensions escalated to a point where, between 2004 and 2007, the CAR experienced a conflict of unprecedented proportions, involving extrajudicial killings in the north, torture, beatings, and rape of subjects and prisoners. Both the Central African Armed Forces( particularly the presidential guard) and the rebellion were responsible for crimes against humanity. More…

The blue-print of the future NATO Strategic Concept: Some comments and views 2

NATO has released last week a report containing the outline of the future NATO Strategic Concept that will be adopted at the Alliance summit this year in Lisbon. Although this is not even a draft of the new Strategic Concept, it is a blue print that offers a glimpse of NATO’s strategic thinking. Following its publication  consultations and heated negotiations between member states will follow in order to draft the NATO’s new Strategic Concept. This article is first in a series dedicated to analyzing the outline of the Alliance’s future strategy. In this part I will summarize and analyze the chapters dedicated to the threat environment, core tasks of NATO and partnerships.